Following on from Adam's adventures in the Holy Pipe land, anyone got
any recommendations as to a half decent pipe/cable/stud detector. There
seem to be some exciting ones with radar and all sorts by Bosch and
others in some of the catalogues. Do they earn their keep?
 My memory may play false here, it's been a few days since I was idly
Where are we going and why am I in this handbasket?
I've got a Bosch DMF10 - whilst it's better than the analogue no-name
thing I had before - it's bit disappointing for bosch pro-grade stuff.
Cable and copper pipe detection reasonable, provided they're just
under the surface - doesn't detect them at all well 50mm deep into
studwork (i.e. behind skimmed 12mm plasterboard, and away from the
Detecting studs, even after following their no-so-intuitive set-up/
calibration - frankly - lousy.
It's the only bosch pro thing I've ever used that hasn't been
I have a cheap one that works reasonably well for wiring and pipes and
is useless at studs. I suspect it's because of the insulating material
now put into stud walls so there is little difference in density.
Having recently moved house I was conscious that I would be starting
afresh with regards to knowing 'what lies beneath' and given the
acceptable decor I didn't want to do much too much hacking around to
So, looking far and wide at the multitude of detectors available it
soon became obvious it is something of a hit-and-miss affair
seperating the wheat from the chaff, however I have come to the
conclusion that it is operator expectations/ability that should be
taking a fair amount of this blame.
I eventually settled on a relatively-cheap Stanley Intellisensor
(Model 077255) and have actually been pleasantly surprised by how well
it works - *if you you use right*!
I should point out the probably-very-relevent fact that our new house
is indeed quite new (2007) and is very consistent with its build; that
being plasterboard everywhere (either dot-and-dob onto masonry, or a
mixture of wood/metal stud partitions). Notwithstanding what it likely
to therefore be quite an easy environment for a detector to work in it
does nevertheless work extremely well for detecting studs etc with a
fair degree of accuracy. Various depth settings (sensitivities) are
available and it deals equally well with 12.5mm skimmed plasterboard
or 25mm flooring.
Wiring (or rather mains voltage) detection is less precise - it is
sometimes sensitive to cabling over 6 inches away but I am confident
in the strict adherence to the use of safe zones and reg compliance so
that function doesn't interest me. To that end, I did actually remove
the buzzer (relying solely on the LED/LCD display) as the often
endless buzzing did get a bit annoying.
I haven't used it for pipework detection (plastic piping hence
probably no good, although the stud detection aspect might pick them
up depending on depth).
Whilst I initially bought it with the intention of using it solely for
a quick mapping of walls before taking further checks and measures
before drilling etc I've now got enough confidence in its abilities
that I take it as the first and last word on the matter. I'll be sure
to post back just as soon as this trust has proven to be a step too
I've had a similar model for several years, and am pretty much
disappointed in it.
They do say that it might not work for lath-and-plaster, and for me it
Surely modern technology can do better? Neutron activation analysis?
Low energy X-rays?
Windmill, Use t m i l l
snipped-for-privacy@Nonetel.com @ O n e t e l
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